Windsor chair restoration

The Incredibly Wobbly Windsor Chair..

An antique Windsor chair has come into the shop to be re-assembled. The chair has been in the family for three generations. And I would say it's time this beauty had some tender loving care. The chair was still in use, and when you sat on it, it wobbled to the right about 3 to 4".
It really was quite scary.

How cool is this beautiful old Windsor...

Now, I'm loving this chair, it's got so much going for it, the colour and patina is fabulous..

click on the picture to enlarge

Look at these joints..all loose and worn out from the last 40 years of being loose..

You can see where the spindles have gone through the seat, 
with the wear showing..removing the patina..

More damage..Tricky under here..I won't be showing my method of fixing this,
some you just don't give away..

and there was some wear to the sockets and holes..

Plenty to get on with then. I was going for a sympathetic restore, agreed with the customer. Due to modern central heating, I used an adhesive that would hold the cleaned up joints, and fill in some of the sockets if there was some play after being tightened up. All of the old adhesive had to be removed, then straps were used to hold the piece together under pressure as the top 'forty six' joints were curing. I must say it's a lot easier writing about it, than doing the actual job, I locked the workshop doors and had to get it all sorted very quickly. 

Once cured, I set upon the legs, These were a bit of a pain, I striped and cleaned out joints, but didn't want to ruin the patina of the chair, so one leg stayed put..I kept the feet sitting flat to the floor and did all I could to ensure that she would stay sound for another fair, few years..

A couple of days later, the chair was sound. I then started the task of covering the lighter parts of the wood joints that could still be seen. As agreed, I removed some of the old paint splats that were around, and gave the chair an in-depth polish with some brilliant dark wax. 

The top part after work completed does sit a little squiffed to the right,
but the chair is a lovely example of the bodgers craft,
twisted here and there from the settling and drying out over the years. 

Some chair makers would rather make you a new Windsor..I'd rather you keep the piece that you love and enjoy it the way you should..

All the best



wilser said…
Great blog and pictures - well done you for salvaging this chair .
Having had a closer look at the pics on my PC : I see that there are two ring decoration on the front legs and plain back legs which pointers to Lincolnshire rather than Notts . The inverted tulips at the bottom of the legs indicate a mid victorian date - 1850 ?? The underarm supports are very similar to those used by Thomas Camm , if you let me have your email address I will send some pics of his chairs showing this .
Just a small point , if I may , on bodgers . There is absolutely no indication that people made components in the woods ( bodgers ) in Lincolnshire or Nottinghamshire . The windsor chair making bussinesses in East Mids was totally different to the Thames valley and should not be confused .
Best wishes , William .

Popular Posts